An Auckland dairy owner has spoken of the terrifying moment he had a gun pressed against his forehead as he was robbed of $4000 and cigarettes on Saturday night.
He says he would have defended himself with a baseball bat if it wasn't for the gun, but police are adamant store owners should not play the hero.
At 7:55pm last night a masked man walked in to the Lower Don Buck Rd Superette in the west Auckland suburb of Henderson, where owner Ayub Sacha was watching the All Blacks play Argentina.
"The guy comes over and puts the gun on my head and says 'gimme the money, gimme the money'. It's just instant, you know. I can't do anything and what small money I have in the till I pass it on to him," says Mr Sacha.
But it wasn't enough. The thief demanded more money, which Mr Sacha took from the Lotto till. He ended up taking off with $4000 and more than 30 packs of cigarettes - not bad for 25 seconds of work, made easy because Mr Sacha did the right thing in the eyes of the law in not fighting back.
Prime Minister John Key recently urged ethnic minorities who feel victimised to refrain from using weapons to protect themselves.
Police warn shop owners to never retaliate in such situations, but Mr Sacha says he may have defended himself if the attacker hadn't been carrying a gun.
"I was going to but had the gunpoint to my head. I just couldn't turn anywhere; I couldn't go any further because I knew if I turned he might attack me," he says.
Instead of using his baseball bat, Mr Sacha called police, who say they're investigating.
Newshub has run several stories recently in which the common denominators are the stealing of cigarettes and the store owners' suspicions that the rising cost of tobacco is fuelling a lucrative black market.
Last night's offender is described as tall, slim, bearded and of Pacific Island or Maori descent. Police are calling for the public's help in catching him, and if they do 25 seconds of crime could lead to a few years in prison for aggravated robbery.